WELP, a major player in the production of protected special vehicles in Europe, announces the inauguration of its new production site at Hérimoncourt. This is the first production plant for the group's young French subsidiary. The first phase of the refurbishment work, carried out with the support of France Relance and the Fonds Friche, has been completed. With this extension, WELP aims to accelerate the international development of its activities while strengthening its proximity to its customers in this strategic region.

The new plant will be inaugurated on October 10th 2023 in the presence of Jean-François Colombet, Prefect of the Doubs département, and a number of other leading figures from the worlds of politics and business.

The establishment of this facility in France is aimed at forging new strategic partnerships in the region in order to integrate a wider range of innovative applications into the group's current portfolio. An initial project, called „DS7 Vauban“, has recently been launched in partnership with DS and Stellantis. The first DS7 Vauban will leave the Hérimoncourt plant in spring 2024.

Ronald Gerschewski, CEO of the WELP Group, comments: "We are delighted to be extending our operational presence in France and to have a dedicated team on site with a perfect understanding of the local culture and needs. We are very proud to finally be able to produce 'made in France' cars to meet the expectations of French customers".

Hérimoncourt's long history with the automobile industry continues ...


  • Following DS 7 ÉLYSÉE, designed for the Presidency of the French Republic, DS Automobiles introduces DS 7 VAUBAN, an armoured plug-in hybrid model available in small numbers
  • DS 7 VAUBAN is built in Hérimoncourt by specialist vehicle constructors WELP
  • Based on DS 7 E-TENSE 4x4 300, DS 7 VAUBAN offers safety and comfort, without adding too much bulk or altering its dynamic behaviour

After creating the DS 7 ÉLYSÉE for the Presidency of the French Republic, DS Automobiles has announced the creation of the DS 7 VAUBAN, an armoured plug-in hybrid which writes a new chapter in the relationship between the WELP Group and DS Automobiles.

DS 7 ÉLYSÉE is a unique design using DS 7 E-TENSE 4x4 300 as a base with armour, a chassis lengthened by approximately twenty centimetres behind the central pillar and special equipment to protect occupants.

The enthusiasm generated by the exclusive DS 7 ÉLYSÉE has paved the way for the development of a small batch of armoured DS 7s, DS 7 VAUBAN designed as a special protection car based on DS 7 E-TENSE 4x4 300. Aramids, a class of lightweight materials that are especially resistant to impact and heat, and safety glass strengthen the vehicle for a VPAM 4 level of ballistics protection. The interior’s transformation was overseen by DS upholsterers, ensuring a high level of refinement.

Further specification enhancements are available on request for protection (automatic fire extinguishers, closed-circuit ventilation, siren and intercom etc.), for passenger comfort (extra USB sockets, reading lights etc.) and vehicle personalisation (body colours, interior trim, stitching, flag holders).

DS 7 VAUBAN takes its name from a series of forts built at the end of the 17th century. Vauban's fortifications – twelve across western, northern and eastern borders of France – are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Marquis Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban supervised more than a hundred forts that are part of cities, standalone or in compounds thoughout France and Europe. In Asia and Africa, several citadels and fortresses adopted the systems established by Vauban.

DS 7 VAUBAN is built by WELP France in Hérimoncourt, after the takeover of part of a former Stellantis site. The first examples will be available from April 2024.

About the WELP GROUP

The WELP group develops and produces special (armoured) vehicles in accordance with VPAM, STANAG and the strictest quality guidelines. With 7 sites in Europe and more than 800 employees, WELP is one of the world's largest producers of civilian armoured vehicles. The WELP portfolio includes off-road vehicles, limousines and commercial vehicles, which are customised for a wide range of applications. With decades of experience, state-of-the-art machinery and a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to ensuring people's safety, there is no room for compromise. The range extends from fully protected vehicles, complying with the most stringent military protection standards, to lighter partial protection. The WELP group's wide range of services also includes repairs (including in the field), driver training and a worldwide supply of spare parts.

Quelle: WELP Group / DS Automobiles

  • Georgsmarienhütte
  • 01.11.2023